Thu, Feb 21, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Taiwan’s Hsieh ousts Kerber to reach quarters

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter

Simona Halep of Romania returns to Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine in their Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships third-round match in the United Arab Emirates yesterday.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Hsieh Su-wei yesterday stunned German fifth seed Angelique Kerber to advance to the quarter-finals of the singles at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, while second seed Petra Kvitova and third seed Simona Halep also advanced in the United Arab Emirates.

World No. 31 Hsieh rallied from a set down to overcome the world No. 7 5-7, 6-4, 6-0 in 1 hour, 44 minutes.

The Taiwanese saved two of six break points and converted seven of 14 to record her first career victory over the German following defeats in Madrid in 2013 and at the Australian Open last year.

It was Hsieh’s first victory over a top-10 player since stunning then-world No. 1 Halep at Wimbledon last year.

The 33-year-old next faces either Alison Riske of the US or fourth seed Karolina Pliskova for a place in her second semi-final of the season.

Second seed Kvitova had to dig deep to overcome qualifier Jennifer Brady of the US 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 in 2 hours, 12 minutes.

The world No. 4 struggled with her serve, sending down 10 double faults, winning just 66 percent of points on her first serve compared with her opponent’s 83 percent.

“Definitely it’s a relief right now,” Kvitova, said after the match.

Kvitova also won a three-setter in the second round on Tuesday against fellow Czech Katerina Siniakova.

“I tried to be quicker today than yesterday,” she said. “I did little bit better, but still was pretty tough. The wind was just terrible today, to be honest. It was really difficult to kind of find a way with it. I couldn’t really serve well today at all. It’s been big struggle for me.”

The 28-year-old saved six of nine break points and converted three of 11 to advance to a quarter-final against Viktoria Kuzmova after the Slovakian world No. 46 rallied from a terrible start to defeat Sofia Kenin of the US 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 in 2 hours, 16 minutes.

Third seed Halep also advanced with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine in 1 hour, 20 minutes.

Halep failed to save any of the four break points she faced, but converted seven of 10 to improve her career record over the world No. 23 to 7-0, including a 6-2, 6-3 win at the Qatar Open last week.

“The wind was difficult today. It didn’t feel like last week [in Doha],” Halep said. “I know how she’s playing, it’s not my favorite style because she doesn’t give any power on the ball. I’ve had many matches with her and won them. I feel confident when I play her.”

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